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Galloway's Book on Running

Running 1996

Marathon!

Return of the Tribes

The Five Stages of Running

The Running Revolution

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Marathon: You Can Do It

Jeff Galloway set the American record for 10 miles (47:49) in 1973, was on the 1972 Olympic track team, and ran a 2:16 marathon at age 35.

He is also an articulate running teacher, able to translate world-class running knowledge into concepts that help runners of all levels.

Jeff’s book Galloway’s Book on Running has sold over 350,000 copies in 5 languages. Jeff has written two new books, Return of the Tribes (1995) and Marathon: You Can Do It! (2000).

The following are excerpts from Marathon: You Can do It!

Short uphill stride helped my fastest marathon...at age 35

The 1980 Houston-Tenneco course had several significant rolling sections, and this worried me. I had strained my hamstring eight weeks before the race and had to lay off from fast running. As the time closed in on the marathon date, I discovered that I the only speed sessions I could do were hill repeats with a shortened stride. While the injury was not fully healed, I picked up the turnover and jokingly told myself that I was the fastest “short strider” in the U.S.! The hill’s resistance gave me the quality of speed play needed to run a high-performance marathon. The stride reduction released the tension on the hamstring and allowed it to continue healing. Not only did I recover while doing quality work, I passed about two dozen competitors while going up hills in the race itself. They were huffing and puffing, and I was zooming by at my normal respiration rate. I ran strong to the finish in a lifetime best of 2:16.

How Many Days Off Per Week?

  • 40 year-old marathoners need three days off from running.
  • Over 50 year-old marathoners should shift to every other day running.
  • Over 60 folks should run three days per week and monitor for fatigue.
  • The over-70 crowd can maintain a significant level of performance by running three days a week and taking walk breaks on every run.

Performance Tips for the Over 50 Crowd:
Getting Better as You Get Older

Run twice a day on running days:

  • Usually the first run is very slow.
  • Accelerations or hills can be done on the second one — but be careful.

Accelerations maintain a high leg turnover:

  • Marathoners in their 50s can do accelerations on each of the afternoon runs.
  • Marathoners in their 60s can do accelerations twice a week on the afternoon runs.
  • Marathoners in their 70s can do accelerations once a week on an afternoon run.
  • Remember that accelerations are merely increased turnover drills and not sprints.
  • If your legs are tired or too tight, don’t do the accelerations.

Long run pace:Three minutes per mile slower than you could run that distance on that day.

Yes, this is a minute slower than younger runners would go, but it will give you the same endurance, based upon the mileage covered. Remember to account for heat, humidity, hills, and other factors as you set your pace. I start my long runs about four minutes per mile slower than I could race the distance, and I not only feel great at the end of the run, but in two or three days, I’m almost always recovered, even from a 26 miler. I know, I can see the looks on some of your competitive faces. Yes, it will take a longer time to cover these long runs, but this just gives you more time to brag about your grandchildren. In our marathon training groups, grandparents have a priceless opportunity: a captive audience for several hours!

Increase the length of the long run beyond 26 miles:The purpose of the long one is to build endurance only. The slower you go, the quicker you’ll recover. By having at least one long run beyond 26 miles, you can boost your endurance limit, which will allow you to maintain a hard marathon pace for a longer time in the marathon itself. When you go the extra distance, it is crucial to take the walk breaks and adhere to the pacing guidelines. For maximum performance, the longest run should be 28 to 29 miles. Again, you must go extra slowly on these extra long ones.

Take walk breaks every mile, from the beginning, to reduce fatigue:

  • Put one to two-minute walk breaks every three to six minutes of running from the beginning. This will reduce fatigue while you increase endurance through the long one.
  • Walk breaks do not reduce the endurance value of the run.

Walk break schedule for experienced, conditioned marathoners:

  • 50-59 year olds: Walk one minute every five to eight minutes.
  • 60-69 year olds: Walk one to two minutes every four to six minutes.
  • 70-75 year olds: Walk two minutes every three to six minutes.
  • 76 and over: Walk two to three minutes every three to five minutes.

Alternate long runs with other weekend runs: Until the long one reaches 18, you may run it every other weekend. After that point, run long every third weekend. When the long run reaches 26 miles, you have the option of taking four weeks between. On non-long-run weekends, you may run a slow one of half the distance of the long one or race a 5K — but no longer than a 5K.

Accelerations: Keep your feet low to the ground — stride short. While staying light on your feet, pick up the rhythm after about 100 to 150 meters; glide by reducing the effort while maintaining the turnover.

Time Goal Marathon: 4 Hours

Wk # Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1. XT 40-50 min 20-30 min XT 40-50 min off 4-6 hills
(5-7 mi)
2. XT 40-50 min 20-30 min XT 40-50 min off 5K race
(6-7 mi)
3. XT 40-50 min 20-30 min XT 40-50 min off 7-8 hills
(7-8 mi)
4. XT 40-50 min 20-30 min XT 40-50 min off 9-10 hills
(8-9 mi)
5. XT 40-50 min 25-35 min XT 40-50 min off 5K race
(9-10 mi)
6. XT 40-50 min 25-35 min XT 40-50 min off 3-5 x 1 mi
(11 mi)
7. XT 40-50 min 25-35 min XT 40-50 min off 5K race
(8 mi)
8. XT 40-50 min 25-35 min XT 40-50 min off 5-7 x 1 mi
(l 4 mi)
9. XT 40-50 min 25-35 min XT 40-50 min off 5K race
(7 mi)
10. XT 45-55 min 25-40 min XT 45-55 min off 15-16 mi easy
11. XT 45-55 min 25-40 min XT 45-55 min off 5K race
(9 mi)
12. XT 45-55 min 25-40 min XT 45-55 min off 17-18 mi easy
13. XT 45-55 min 25-40 min XT 45-55 min off 6-8 x 1 mi
14. XT 45-55 min 25-40 min XT 45-55 min off 19-20 mi easy
15. XT 45-55 min 25-40 min XT 45-55 min off 5K race
(10 mi)
16. XT 45-55 min 25-40 min XT 45-55 min off 6-8 x 1 mi
17. XT 45-55 min 25-40 min XT 45-55 min off 22-23 mi easy
18. XT 45-55 min 25-40 min XT 45-55 min off 5K race
19. XT 45-55 min 25-40 min XT 45-55 min off 4-6 x 1 mi
20. XT 45-55 min 25-40 min XT 45-55 min off 25-26 mi easy
21. XT 45-55 min 25-40 min XT 45-55 min off 5K race
22. XT 45-55 min 25-40 min XT 45-55 min off 3-5 x 1 mi
23. XT 45-55 min 25-40 min XT 45-55 min off 27-28 mi easy
24. XT 45-55 min 25-40 min XT 45-55 min off 5K or 4 x 1 mi
25. XT 40-45 min 20-25 min XT 40-45 min off 4 x 1 mi
26. run 40 min off run 30 min off run 30 min off The Marathon
27. walk 45 min run/walk 30 min walk 30-60 min run/walk 40 min walk 30-60 min off 7-10 run/walk
28. walk 45 min run/walk 45 min walk 30-60 min run/walk 45 min walk 30-60 min off 9-15 mi run/walk
29. walk 45 min run/walk 45 min walk 30-60 min run/walk-45 min walk 30-60 min off 12-20 mi run/walk

Excerpted from Marathon! ©1996, Jeff Galloway

Time Goal Marathon: 3:30

Wk # Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1. XT 40-60 min 20-30 min XT 40-60 min off 4-6 hills
(5-7 mi)
2. XT 40-60 min 20-30 min XT 40-60 min off 5K race
(6-7 mi)
3. XT 40-60 min 20-30 min XT 40-60 min off 7-8 hills
(7-8 mi)
4. XT 40-60 min 20-30 min XT 40-60 min off 9-10 hills
(8-9 mi)
5. XT 45-60 min 25-35 min XT 45-60 min off 5K race
(9-10 mi)
6. XT 45-60 min 25-35 min XT 45-60 min off 3-5 x 1 mi
(12 mi)
7. XT 45-60 min 25-35 min XT 45-60 min off 5K race
(8 mi)
8. XT 45-60 min 25-35 min XT 45-60 min off 6-8 x 1 mi
(14 mi)
9. XT 45-60 min 25-35 min XT 45-60 min off 5K race
(8 mi)
10. XT 45-65 min 25-40 min XT 45-65 min off 15-16 mi easy
11. XT 45-65 min 25-40 min XT 45-65 min off 5K race
(9 mi)
12. XT 45-65 min 25-40 min XT 45-65 min off 17-18 mi easy
13. XT 45-65 min 25-40 min XT 45-65 min off 7-9 x 1 mi
14. XT 45-65 min 25-40 min XT 45-65 min off 19-20 mi easy
15. XT 45-65 min 25-40 min XT 45-65 min off 5K race
(10 mi)
16. XT 45-65 min 25-40 min XT 45-65 min off 8-10 x 1 mi
17. XT 45-65 min 25-40 min XT 45-65 min off 22-23 mi easy
18. XT 45-65 min 25-40 min XT 45-65 min off 5K race
19. XT 45-65 min 25-40 min XT 45-65 min off 5-7 x 1 mi
20. XT 45-65 min 25-40 min XT 45-65 min off 25-26 mi easy
21. XT 45-65 min 25-40 min XT 45-65 min off 5K race
22. XT 45-65 min 25-40 min XT 45-65 min off 4-6 x 1 mi
23. XT 45-65 min 25-40 min XT 45-65 min off 28-29 mi easy
24. XT 45-55 min 25-40 min XT 45-55 min off 5K or 4 x 1 mi
25. XT 40-45 min 20-25 min XT 40-45 min off 4-5 x 1 mi
26. run 40 min off run 30 min off run 30 min off The Marathon
27. walk 45 min run/walk 30 min walk 30-60 min run/walk 45 min walk 30-60 min off 7-10 mi run/walk
28. walk 45 min run/walk 45 min walk 30-60 min run/walk 45 min walk 30-60 min off 9-15 mi run/walk
29. walk 45 min run/walk 45 min walk 30-60 min run/walk 45 min walk 30-60 min off 12-20 mi run/walk

Excerpted from Marathon! ©1996, Jeff Galloway